Scams in Online Casinos

Online Casino Scams

From fake casinos to bonus abuse, you’ll learn how these traps work and how to avoid them. This guide is your lifeline for safe online gambling.

I’m Mary; a croupier turned consumption watchdog at With years of insider knowledge and my trusty deck of cards, I’ve seen it all – good bets, bad beats, and ugly cons. My journey from brick-and-mortar casinos to virtual ones has given me insights that can save you money.

In this guide, I’ll explain some common scams using my extensive experience as a former dealer and gambler. We’ll highlight everything from counterfeit casinos to rigged games so you can surf digital waters without fear.

Common online casino scams

Tiptoeing through the landscape of digital gambling can be thrilling but treacherous – especially when so many scams lie in wait for an opportune moment to strike unknowing victims like yourself.

One ruse consists of crooks introducing fake sites that look almost identical to real ones but have no intention of ever paying out any winnings they accumulate from players who deposit money into their system. These scammers cash out, leaving you to wonder why your high-roller life just yesterday has turned into a tale of empty pockets.

Bonuses that seem too good to be true often are, and this applies double if they have ridiculously high wagering requirements. The idea here is that the house will never lose money if they convince players to take these deals, as players will soon learn that it’s nearly impossible to fulfill such lofty demands. This then leads gamblers back into debt as they attempt to reach an unreachable goal.

Another tactic crooks use is manipulating their games so that the return-to-player (RTP) rate drops drastically below fair play benchmarks, making it feel like the player’s not even gambling against the odds. Instead, it seems like there’s no way for them to win. Casino technology is sometimes entirely pirated or rigged, ensuring no player can see one cent of their winnings.

One of the most aggravating scams casinos run involves delaying or outright denying payouts. In some cases, operators take an eternity processing a withdrawal request with the hopes that the player will either give up or gamble away their pending funds out of frustration.

Who is most at risk of online casino scams?

Online casino scams tend to find inexperienced players first or people who don’t know much about the online gambling world. Newcomers who want a quick win or are swayed by bonus offers may not see the warning signs telling them they’re playing on a scam site. They might not see their license’s legitimacy or will overlook terms and conditions.

Players looking for an easy way to make money or from places where gambling is less regulated are also very vulnerable. These players may be drawn in by casinos offering high returns but haven’t done enough due diligence to ensure they aren’t being lied to.

Players, especially new ones, must educate themselves using red flags found everywhere in fraudulent casinos to protect themselves against potential fraudulent casinos. They must verify licenses through official channels and engage with well-reviewed and widely recognized online gambling sites.

What signs indicate an online casino might be a scam?

A sign of an online scam casino is seeing red everywhere you look when visiting its website. This might mean there isn’t even a license present, or if there is one, it was issued by an organization no one has ever heard of before​.

Another indicator that can spot these scammers from a mile away is the unrealistic bonuses and promotions they offer you on your first visit before you pay anything.

It probably is if something sounds too good to be true, mainly if the promotion includes absurd wagering requirements.

The quality of games offered and their reputation can also be very telling. If a casino has a random, no-name game developer who isn’t known for making good games, it’s probably best not to deposit anything.

Typically, people think of poor websites they might not want to use because they have spelling or grammar errors. In this case, however, we’re looking for casinos with low-quality websites. These sites generally don’t attract too much traffic and, therefore, are more likely to scam you than big-name casinos would.

Watch Out Phishing Scammers

These scammers will do whatever it takes to get what they want: money from you. Regarding communication practices, they’ll do whatever is necessary to contact you and pretend they’re another person entirely. Phishing attempts are extremely common forms of scams these days, where players receive emails or messages asking for information such as passwords or banking details.

Assessing an online casino’s legitimacy, player reviews, and community feedback are invaluable. A pattern of complaints regarding delayed or denied payouts, hidden terms and conditions, or poor customer service can signal a potential scam​.

The security measures an online casino employs to protect your personal and financial information can indicate its legitimacy. If you notice that the website lacks SSL encryption or a proper security certification, be suspicious, as this means your data is vulnerable there.

If taken together, these indicators make it easier to tell whether an online casino is trustworthy or potentially a scam. Research and exercise caution before depositing funds or sharing personal information with an online casino.

How do I know if an online casino is legitimate or fake?

In several ways, you can tell if an online casino is real or fake.

CriteriaLegitimate CasinosFake Casinos
LicenseRegulated by reputable authorities like the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority.Lack of license or license by non-reputable entities.
Website Quality and SecurityHigh-quality, secure websites with SSL encryption.Poor website quality and lack of SSL encryption.
Player ReviewsPositive reviews and transparent customer service practices.There are negative reviews, many complaints about withdrawals, and poor customer service.
Payment MethodsOffers well-known, secure payment options.Limited or obscure payment methods, history of delayed payments.
Customer SupportResponsive and helpful, including live chat, email, and phone support.Lack of support options, unresponsive or unhelpful service.

What techniques do scammers use in online casinos?

Deceptive scammers try to trick players and exploit the online gambling industry. They have a vast arsenal of methods at their disposal. Phishing scams, for example, consist of fraudulent messages that impersonate a casino and ask you for passwords or bank details.

Then we have bonus abuse, which is all about playing the system to make illegal profits from casino promotions and bonuses. This reduces the value of these benefits for everyone else.

Manipulating game outcomes – also known as cheating – or using pirated software with rigged payout rates are also classic scamming techniques. These games appear normal, but in reality, your chance of winning is next to nothing.

Identity theft takes advantage of people’s personal information to steal their identity and money without consent. It’s a massive violation of privacy that can lead to terrible financial consequences.

Lastly, clone casinos are fake websites that imitate real ones. Unbeknownst to players, they’re stealing their money and personal info while pretending to be legit companies.

Why are online casino bonuses sometimes scams?

A dishonest casino bonus may be the biggest scam in the industry. Often, they include unrealistic wagering requirements and terms that cannot be fulfilled easily. Sure, it’s called a “bonus,” but what you’ll need to do to see your winnings is an entirely different story.

Casinos can set high bet standards or limit the games that can be played with bonuses, making it much harder to convert bonus money into cash.

In other cases, casinos offer lucrative bonuses to get you on their site. The moment you deposit, these terms change or disappear altogether. This bait-and-switch tactic tricks people into putting money into these sites while also destroying trust in online gambling.

What are some warning signs of bonus abuse scams?

Warning signs include offers that seem too good to be true, usually accompanied by bizarre betting requirements.

Here’s more information:

Warning SignDescription
Unrealistic Wagering RequirementsRequirements to wager a bonus amount several times over are practically impossible.
Limited Time to Use BonusAn unreasonably short period within which the bonus must be used, making it difficult to take advantage of.
Limitations on WithdrawalRestrictions placed on withdrawing winnings derived from bonus funds are often designed to be overly restrictive.
Obscure Terms and ConditionsComplicated or hidden terms that make it unclear how to use or withdraw the bonus properly.
Exclusive to Certain GamesBonuses that can only be used on games with low RTP (Return to Player), reducing the chances of winning.

Who should I contact for help when an online casino has scammed me?

Firstly, you should always try contacting customer service directly with any complaints. If this does not resolve your issue, try escalating your complaint with their regulatory authority. Reputable regulators like Malta take these complaints very seriously and will likely work hard to find a resolution.

Finally, there are third-party platforms, such as AskGamblers and CasinoMeister, where you can discuss and post about your issues.

If you want legal action, you may have to contact consumer protection organizations in your country or seek legal advice from a lawyer specializing in online gambling laws.

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